As we go into our second week of rehearsals, it’s crazy to think of all the things that have lead up to this show.
A project cultivated from rejection of preconceived journeys, these shows have begun blossoming into fruitful gardens of hard work, insightful rehearsals, and talented collaborators. Back in October, between day jobs, I read these plays on the floor of a used bookstore, unable to leave until I got to the end. I poured over the books generously, not even remembering that I had not come into the bookstore alone or that the bookstore even closed. Luckily, I have understanding friends and patient booksellers.
What I have loved most about Murray Schisgal’s writing is the absurdity of reality that he seems to capture so gracefully. When I first read The Typists, I kept thinking, “I know that feeling. I know that struggle. I know that and that and that…” At first glance, I was perplexed at the parallels these two plays, both published in 1963, resonated with me in 2017. Maybe it was the “right time, right place”; whatever it was, I am grateful for how it has infiltrated my life.
As we delve into the monotone office of The Typists and the dingy basement of The Tiger, I am honored to be in the room with such dedicated performers, Sarah-Winter Rose and Wes Elliot. This experience already has been one for the books. Even though it’s only been a week, we’ve already found ourselves swimming gallantly through the mind of Murray Schisgal.
I am so excited to share the world we, as an ensemble with the guidance of Schisgal, have already fallen in love with. Thank you to all of our supporters who have made this happen!
The May Lune 2015 is online!
The scene Alex & Lindsey was written and directed by Co-Founder Lia Russell-Self. It starred Co-Founder Wes Elliot as Alex and Tessa Anderson as Lindsey. The scene deals with mature issues of peer pressure in youth culture and how that can quickly lead to much more intense themes: rape.
Left to Right: Tessa Anderson as Lindsey, Wes Elliot as Alex
Artist’s Note: The original script had both Alex & Lindsey as thirteen-year-old girls. In my own upcoming, sex was a robust topic of discussion among my peers, all hormones but rarely facts. The goal was always to please your partner, often the female pleasing the male in a heterosexual coupling. When we decided to work on this scene, I was nervous about how people would react to such a scene. I thought that maybe my middle school experience was abnormal because what is the most talked about in general media was the opposite, the “cute” parts of preteenage years, such as first crushes and new breasts. This scene was not that. It was two fourteen-year-olds talking about how to give a blowjob without any of the smatterings of music to mask it and a no-holds-barred attitude to it all. Lindsey is not one to accept failure, but the way in which that manifests with Alex is a force that is often overlooked with women and girls. We sometimes fail to realize the perpetrators of our society’s expectations, including pressure to have sex and pleasing the masculine figures.
The only difference from the original script is the change of Alex’s gender, and that change adds a new layer while leaving the original message blatant and clear. Having a newly-out-queer, young boy trying to figure out his life among the pressures of what society wants him to be, it makes the scene completely different while remaining the same. We are still discussing the perpetrators of the norms of society, but setting it through the eyes of a newly-out-gay boy shows how we see same-sex relationships and who is supposed to do what based on appearance and demeanor.
In writing and directing this scene, I hoped to bring light to the problematic conversations that are often glossed over, and we all hope that you are inclined to look at this in your own surroundings.